Cristian Pache delivers in the ninth, Phillies win 13th straight road game, tying a franchise record
Cristian Pache and the Philadelphia Phillies completed a wild comeback victory last night to take game one of a pivotal series against the Miami Marlins, 4-3.
Zack Wheeler was on the mound for the Phillies against Marlins’ ace Sandy Alcantara. Wheeler threw “okay” and struggled with his pitch count early in the game, but managed to fight through six innings of work, allowing seven hits, three earned runs, and zero walks while striking out seven.
The Marlins managed to jump out to an early 3-0 lead against the Phillies, striking first in the bottom of the second inning on a Jacob Stallings ground ball to short. Dane Myers then grounded into a force out that scored Joey Wendle. In the bottom of the fourth inning, Garrett Cooper hit a solo home run to right field.
The Phillies finally got on the board in the bottom of the sixth inning thanks to home run No. 10 for JT Realmuto, who has a knack for hitting against Sandy Alcantara, batting .286 with two home runs, and 7 RBIs over 36 plate appearances in his career.
JT Realmuto Solo Home Run
Realmuto got things moving for the Phillies again in the top of the ninth inning with a single to put a man on base for Alec Bohm, who then hit a sharp line drive double to left field to cut the Phillies’ deficit to just a single run.
With two outs in the ninth inning and the Phillies down a run to the Marlins, Cristian Pache destroyed an 0-1 sweeper off closer AJ Puk to centerfield, just out of the reach of Dane Myers glove to give The Fightins a 4-3 lead and a series opening win against the Miami Marlins.
Cristian Pache Go-Ahead 2-Run Home Run
Pache was acquired by the Phillies from the Oakland Athletics in exchange for minor league pitcher Billy Sullivan just one day before the regular season started. A year before, he was the centerpiece in the Atlanta Braves’ trade for first baseman Matt Olson.
The once top prospect struggled to find his swing at the major league level and entered the 2023 season with a .156 career batting average in 322 plate appearances.
After struggling to start the year with the Phillies, Pache has been on fire since April 8th, going 14-for-37 (.378) with six doubles, two home runs, and seven RBI.
Listen, I’m not sure what Kevin Long is telling batters when they come to Philadelphia but it definitely is working. We have witnessed significant improvement to Bryson Stott, Brandon Marsh, Alec Bohm, and Cristian Pache.
Hell, I would even include Mickey Moniak on that list. The former No. 1 overall pick in the MLB draft is having a breakout season with the Los Angeles Angels. Whatever Long is doing, it’s definitely working.
Cristian Pache Post Game Interview
Bullpen Note: Jeff Hoffman pitched two scoreless innings and Craig Kimbrel earned save No. 14 on the season. The bullpen combined has thrown 25.1 consecutive scoreless innings.
The Comeback Kids
The Red Hot Fightins’
The Phillies have now won a franchise record-tying 13 straight games on the road. They are 23-7 (.767) since June 3rd, which is the second-best record in Major League Baseball over that span.
Posting an 8-2 record over their last 10 games the Phillies remain 11 games behind the first place Atlanta Braves in the NL East standings. With last night’s win, they pulled within 1.5 games of the second place Marlins and are now just 1.5 games out of the top NL Wild Card spot, which is currently held by the Dodgers in a two-way tie with Miami.
Ranger Suarez will take the mound today against Braxton Garrett at 4:05PM.
One more thing: Cristian Pache needs more playing time and after the All-Star break next week, keep your fingers crossed that Bryce Harper can start playing first base so they can slide Kyle Schwarber into the DH spot with Pache taking over left field duties. This kid is electric and needs more at-bats over the second half of the season.